By Scott Peters
I hope you will share my enthusiasm about the recent progress in the Bird Rock traffic calming and beautification project. Although I realize that this project has had quite an impact on your neighborhood, it is exciting to know that we’re nearing the finish line and that a more pedestrian-, stroller- and shopper-friendly neighborhood is right around the corner.
I am thrilled to announce that, despite serious but unforeseeable delays that could have extended this project well past its original completion date, the contractor and the city have recently sped up the overall timeline, meaning that the work on La Jolla Boulevard will be significantly completed by May 31.
Although the contractor will still be working on some side street improvements and planting the landscaping, all the roundabouts will be installed and, most important, the resurfaced boulevard will be open to traffic and parking. This is great news for residents, merchants and shoppers in Bird Rock.
We’ve been working very closely with the residents, merchants and the contractor to ensure that the impact on the community is no more burdensome than absolutely necessary to get this important job done. As a result, we’ve been able to keep more parking open than originally thought possible, and we avoided a lengthy detour onto La Jolla Hermosa. Only a two-week detour will occur in May to allow the contractor to repave La Jolla Blvd. for a smooth and pothole-free ride through the Bird Rock community.
City engineers and West Coast General deserve our thanks for adapting so well to the many challenges that we’ve come across. From weather delays that prevented work for days after each rainfall, to unforeseen circumstances such as discovering hidden water and sewer lines, to SDG&E having to lower a gas line in the middle of a demolition, this construction project has been a constant challenge.
Still, I am impressed with how all parties have stepped up to the plate to come up with creative ways to work around these obstacles and meet this aggressive timeline. If not for the hard work of city crews, contractors and the daily involvement of Keely Sweeney of my office, I would not have been surprised to see the completion of this project delayed until the fall. To those not on site each day, it is hard to describe what a significant accomplishment this is, but it is a huge win for us and for the neighborhood.
I look forward to the day in the now not-too-distant future where I can cross the street between Bird Rock Roasters and Beaumont’s without fear of encountering a car whizzing through Bird Rock at break-neck speed. With the recent installation of the medians, it is getting easier and easier to envision how beautiful the Bird Rock neighborhood is going to look, and I hope you share my excitement.
No longer worried about the noise and pollution of speeding cars using the boulevard as a thoroughfare, the community will be able to enjoy a better experience at its annual Taste of Bird Rock event on July 17. I hope the community joins me to patronize our local merchants and to experience how the improvements have made Bird Rock a friendlier place for people to walk with their families and meet neighbors.
Peters is First District councilman and council president of the City of San Diego.